‘Dick Van Dyke Show’ Creator Dies at 98
Legendary actor, comedian and director Carl Reiner died on Monday, June 29. He was 98.
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Reiner’s agent, Judy Nagy, confirmed to Variety that he died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills home. His actor-director son, Rob Reiner, later paid tribute to him via Twitter, writing, “Last night my dad passed away. As I write this my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.”
During his seven-plus-decade career in show business, the Bronx native won nine Emmy Awards and a Grammy. He also received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2000.
Carl Reiner Uncredited/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Reiner was best known for creating and acting in The Dick Van Dyke Show, which starred Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore and ran for five seasons on CBS from 1961 to 1966.
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After serving in World War II and being honorably discharged in 1946, Reiner came to prominence as an actor in Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour. He met Mel Brooks while serving as a cast member in the former, and the two went on to become lifelong friends. They formed a comedic duo best known for their “2000 Year Old Man” sketches, the last of which won them a Grammy in 1998.
Reiner’s work as a director began after The Dick Van Dyke Show wrapped. He led films including Where’s Poppa? (1970), Oh, God! (1977) and The Jerk (1979), the latter of which helped launch Steve Martin’s career. He stopped directing after That Old Feeling (1997), but continued making guest roles on the big and small screens throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In his latter years, Reiner made appearances on TV shows such as Frasier, Mad About You, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, House and Two and a Half Men.
Carl Reiner Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock
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Reiner, who wrote a memoir titled My Anecdotal Life in 2004, found success once again in 2001 when he portrayed Saul Bloom in Ocean’s Eleven. He reprised the role in Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007).
Reiner is survived by three children: Rob, author Annie Reiner and artist Lucas Reiner. His wife of nearly 65 years, actress Estelle Reiner, died at the age of 94 in October 2008.
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